Top 10 Dirty Heads Songs

Dirty Heads Songs

Photo: Jax 0677, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 10 Dirty Heads songs list introduces us to an American band famed for its reggae-rock music. Dirty Heads was founded in 2006 by Jared Watson and vocalist Dustin Bushnell at Orange County, California, an area known for its reggae/ska influence. Jared and Dustin met at a high school party where Jared was amazed by Dustin’s rap demo tapes. While Jared had no music experience, Dustin was already part of an infamous rock band. The two would join hands and started writing hip-hop songs with punk and reggae influences. Jared and Dustin performed with Dustin’s brother Jake Bushnell on his band HB Surround Sound before filling their lineup.

In 2007, the band recorded their demo cover Dirty Demo under their name “Dirty Heads,” a moniker inspired by their older family members. Jared Watson revealed in an interview that the band’s musical influence included the Sublime on Dirty Heads’ reggae-rock vibes and The Black Keys on Dirty Heads’ warm and touching sounds. The band landed success with their 2008 debut album Any Port in a Storm which featured some of the best Dirty Heads songs. Dirty Heads’ journey started with a lineup consisting of co-lead vocalist Jared Watson, co-lead vocalist and guitarist Dustin Bushnell, drummer and percussionist Jon Olazabal, and bassist David Foral. Its current lineup has built on the original one by adding more instrumentalists to the band. Here are the top 10 Dirty Heads songs sampled from the band’s eight studio albums.

# 10 – Lay Me Down

Ushering us to the top 10 Dirty Heads list is the ballad “Lay Me Down,” a single from the band’s debut album Any Port in a Storm. The song features Sublime with Rome’s guitarist Rome Ramirez with whom Dustin Bushnell and Jared Watson wrote the song. Initially, the song was intended for the follow-up album to Any Port in a Storm. However, the band’s record company wished that the song was included in the debut album immediately. The record company was so right with its idea of having the song become the band’s first number one on the US Alternative Songs Chart. “Lay Me Down’s” ten weeks run at number one was the longest stint on top of the chart surpassing Everlast’s record with “What It’s Like.”

# 9 – Spread Too Thin

“Spread Too Thin” is one of the band’s best releases on its album Cabin by the Sea. The song brought together Dirty Heads’ Dustin Bushnell and Jared Watson with Rome Ramirez on the songwriting process. “Spread Too Thin” in itself is an idiomatic expression that means to undertake tons of activities at the same time, which is what the song is all about. The narrator seems to highlight how much sunk into tasks he is that many are questioning what’s happening in his life. 

# 8 – My Sweet Summer

“My Sweet Summer” is yet another song where Sublime with Rome’s guitarist Rome Ramirez played a significant role in its success. Featured on the band’s album Sound of Change, the song is a composition by Rome, Dustin, Jared, and Niles Hollowell-Dhar. The song is an exquisite bridge track delivered on some great vocals from Dustin and Jared. Like the album’s name suggests, the song is highly invested in bringing some hip-hop elements to life, which takes us back to Dustin and Jared’s beginnings.

# 7 – Oxygen

Dirty Heads’ “Oxygen” was a highly anticipated single from the band’s self-titled album. Written by Jared Watson, Dustin Bushnell, Nick Bailey, and Ryan Ogren, “Oxygen” is one of Jared’s favorite, having him quote that it possesses some of the best lyrics and charming melodies. True to the word, this intoxicating song brings the best of the band’s reggae-rock vibes setting the tone for the rest of the Dirty Heads’ eponymous album.

# 6 – Burn Slow (ft. Tech N9ne)

“Burn Slow” takes Dirty Heads back to some hip-hop vibes in an upbeat and spirited tune. Featured on the band’s album Sounds of Change, “Burn Slow” brings the true theme of change in the band’s musical style for this album. There was no better way to capture the sound change theme and the hip hop vibes from the band’s roots than bringing in Tech N9ne in its third verse. Tech N9ne brings spice to the song with his fast yet precise rapping skills to the song. Following the release of raving ballads like “Burn Slow,” Sounds of Change went on to peak at number one on the US Top Alternative Albums and Independent Albums Charts.

# 5 – Dance All Night (ft. Matisyahu)

Dirty Heads teamed up with reggae artist Matisyahu to release the grooving ballad “Dance All Night.” Featured on the band’s 2012 album Cabin by the Sea, the song was written by Dirty Heads band members inviting Matisyahu to add spice to the song. “Dance All Night” Matisyahu had known Dirty Heads from touring with 311 and Sublime. The song helped the band build upon its success from their debut album Any Port in a Storm.

#4 – That’s All I Need

When Dirty Heads had the intro for “That’s All I Need,” they knew that the song would truly set the souls of many on fire. Featured on the band’s eponymous album, the song has Dirty Heads roll back from the Sounds of Change to their original reggae rock vibes. “That’s All I Need” is written by the Dirty Heads alongside Justin Gray, with whom the band produced the song. Released in May 2016, the song became received airplay almost imminently in tons of radio stations.

# 3 – Stand Tall

“Stand Tall” had the Dirty Heads band members collaborate with Steve Fox and Stan Frazier in composing its lyrics. Featured on the band’s 2008 second studio album, “Stand Tall” is about bracing oneself to face the challenges that seem like a mountain. And true to the word, it gets a little better when we stand up strong, allowing no one to bring us down! Our top 10 Dirty Heads songs list might have been a long read without a song that encourages you through your tough day (I guess we all have them).

# 2 – Cabin by the Sea

“Cabin by the Sea” is a titular ballad from the band’s 2012 album Cabin by the Sea. Written by Dirty Heads, “Cabin by the Sea” is a rhythmic song about a tranquil place by the sea where everyone is welcome with no negativity. The song features some acoustic guitars, percussion, and woodwind instruments to adds glamour to the song’s message. “Cabin by the Sea” received quite some airplay on radio stations helping the band grow its fanbase even higher.

# 1 – Vacation

Number one on our top 10 Dirty Heads is the hit “Vacation” from the band’s 2017 album Swim Team. The song is built on the idea that if you love your job, you will ‘barely work’ a day in your life hence inspiring people to live their lives like they are on vacation. Probably this is the wake-up call people who don’t love their jobs need to go after their passion. Jared Watson revealed that he got the idea for the song while he was walking his dogs and thinking about the happy life he struck with the band. He continued to say that he had to overcome additions to achieve success, and now he motivates us to love our jobs so as each day feels like a vacation!

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